Apple Announces iCloud Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 06: Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivers the keynote address at the 2011 Apple World Wide Developers Conference at the Moscone Center on June 6, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Apple CEO Steve Jobs returned from sick leave to introduce Apple's new iCloud storage system and the next versions of Apple's iOS and Mac OSX. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Photo: Justin Sullivan/2011 Getty Images

The big news from today's hyped Apple press conference is the rollout of iCloud, a backup service that lets you access the data you upload to one of your Apple devices on all the others. But it wouldn't be Apple without a walled garden element: In order to upload songs that weren't downloaded from the iTunes store, users have to pay an annual fee of $25 for a service called iTunes Match. Competitor services from Amazon and Google are entirely free but require users to upload each song or picture individually.

Apple is clearly banking on the convenience factor here: How many mindless, annoying clicks will it take before you pony up? Probably depends on the size of your library: As Pourmecoffee tweeted, the service promises a "one-click place to store all your shirtless photos." (Too bad Anthony Weiner's a BlackBerry user.)

Steve Jobs Reveals iCloud, iOS 5, Mac Lion [BI]